Revised curriculum welcomed
New Zealand Kindergartens Te Pūtahi Kura Puhou o Aotearoa welcomes the release of the revised early childhood education (ECE) curriculum document Te Whāriki.
“Te Whāriki is unique in the world. It reflects our bicultural heritage, placing children and their whānau at the heart of ECE,” said Clare Wells, chief executive New Zealand Kindergartens. “Our curriculum reflects who we are and that’s important for young children as they learn and make sense of their world.”
The curriculum sets out the skills, knowledge and dispositions that set children up for life. “Science, mathematics, literacy and the arts, leadership, problem solving and social well-being are all part of children’s learning at kindergarten,” said Clare Wells.
"Research shows the benefits of children attending high quality ECE last into their adult years. Central to that is the role of qualified teachers who understand the curriculum and how children learn, are knowledgeable about children's learning progression, are current in best teaching practice, and work alongside parents and caregivers to achieve the aspirations they have for their children's learning,” Clare Wells said.
“When Te Whāriki was designed over 20 years ago, it was a world first,” Clare Wells said. “While the framework remains robust, it was timely to review the document to reflect our world in the 21st century.”
“However, simply having the document is not enough,” said Clare Wells. “Teachers will need time and support from the Ministry of Education to implement the revised curriculum in order to see improved learning outcomes for children.”
“I am pleased the ministry resisted the urge to look overseas for curriculum and assessment models and instead invested time to design and improve our own ‘home grown’ curriculum,” said Clare Wells. “We recognise the contribution of Sir Tamiti and Lady Tilly Reedy, and Te Kōhanga Reo National Trust, and we acknowledge the writers and all those who took part in the consultation process. Te Whāriki holds a special place in our education system connecting with curricula in schools to underpin high quality teaching and learning for all children and young people,” Clare Wells said.